Although analytics and reporting may sound the same, they aren’t. Dive into the difference between the two to learn which one you need.
Reporting | Sep 24
Mara Calvello on January 25, 2021 (last modified on February 25, 2021) • 16 minute read
You’ve built a beautiful website.
It boasts well-written content with SEO in mind, a user-friendly layout, and well placed CTAs.
Now what? Well, now it’s time to track your website analytics and see how it’s performing. In order to do this, most marketers turn to two website tracking heavy hitters: Google Analytics and HubSpot.
If you’re new to the world of website metrics, it can be hard to know which of these website analytics tracking tools to use, if they can be used together, or which data will be more insightful for you and your team.
Thankfully, we break it all down. For insights into something specific, jump ahead to:
Whether you’re tracking your sales activity or email activity, there’s a lot that HubSpot can do in terms of showcasing top-notch data.
Starting things off for HubSpot is Weldon Dial at Ecom Dynamix, who shares. “HubSpot’s biggest strength, in my opinion, is that it allows me to see the direct impact on pipeline and revenue. I can easily check leads and my conversion funnel’s performance.”
Another big fan of HubSpot is Stephanie Riel from RielDeal Marketing. Riel states, “I like to use a variety of sources to check and double-check digital marketing efforts. I love that with HubSpot, you can have access to your paid advertising campaigns and data associated with campaigns that use HubSpot marketing resources like landing pages. HubSpot gives you a big picture view of the overall success of campaigns.”
Providing a comprehensive look into HubSpot and what it can be used for is Stan Tan at Shelby’s. Tan explains, “For starters, You can track the person viewing your website. Instead of in Google Analytics where everyone has an ID, with HubSpot, you can put a name behind that person visiting your website. You can see which page that person viewed. This allows you to get an understanding of what product or service he/she is interested in.
Additionally, HubSpot also allows you to track your email marketing campaign more deeply. Because it is a CRM, HubSpot allows you to track who opened your email, clicked on it, and made a purchase. Most email marketing can’t track the last part on who made a purchase.
And, if you are a B2B company where your transaction is done offline (for example, from an invoice), you can integrate HubSpot with your system where the transaction is done and connect both your website metrics and sales together. With this integration, HS can track the whole pathway from visitor to revenue.”
Finally, if you’re looking to solely get information regarding your emails, Mark Robinson from Albion Forest believes that HubSpot should be your go-to. Robinson shares, “I mostly use HubSpot for tracking emails, because it tracks how many times a person opens an email.”
*Editor’s note: To take an investigative look at insights surrounding deals within your sales pipeline, check out the HubSpot CRM dashboard to easily read the data and grow your pipeline.
Reporting in Google Analytics allows you to dive a little deeper into your website metrics.
Mark Robinson also explains how he uses Google Analytics, sharing, “Google Analytics tells me many things about my audience. For instance, I can see how long they spend on my website and how many pages they visit are the main things I look at. I also like to see where they are coming from, so organic leads, or paid for, social media, etc.”
Another fan of Google Analytics is Ethan Bayliss of The DigiHut. Bayliss explains, “When it comes to displaying the most insightful metrics for me to measure my website’s engagement rate I always turn to Google Analytics. This is because Google Analytics allows me to clearly and quickly see my three main go-to factors for measuring website engagement which are bounce rate, average session duration, new and returning visitors.”
Google Analytics can make a big difference as marketing professionals utilize data, as Stephanie Riel from RielDeal Marketing explains, “We typically incorporate Google Analytics data to verify the results the advertising channels are reporting for metrics such as site sessions. Another key feature for Google Analytics is to see time on site, which helps us evaluate specific content performance.”
Back offering another comprehensive look, but this time into Google Analytics is Stan Tan, who further elaborates, “It’s easy to get started using Google Analytics. All you have to do is to place your tracking code on your website and you are on your way. It also covers most of the website metrics you need such as visitors, sessions, bounce rate, time on site, etc.
Plus, if you are an eCommerce or B2C SaaS company where your transaction is done over your website, Google Analytics covers everything you need from visitors to sales.”
*Editor’s note: Learn more about tracking key website engagement metrics, including time on page and bounce rate, with the free Google Analytics dashboard template.
Even though the two reporting tools may seem like very different resources, they do have some similarities.
For instance, Andre Oentoro at Milkwhale explains, “Both HubSpot and Google Analytics have great analytics capabilities. We use it to track our site and how our marketing campaigns are contributing to the traffic.”
The first similarity is in traffic reporting. You can access traffic analytics in both tools. While HubSpot allows you to track and compare traffic on a monthly and yearly basis, Google Analytics provides more in-depth traffic reporting, like checking the types of devices your visitors are using, tracking numbers of new and returning visits, etc. In HubSpot, you can also compare custom date ranges.
Secondly, you can use both to access data surrounding page views. HubSpot shows you page views for your landing pages, web pages, blog posts, or all page types together. To dig deeper, you can check the bounce rate, exit rate, CTR, CTA views and clicks, and similar in any of the above-mentioned pages. Google Analytics shows you the same data, along with unique page views.
The third similarity is that both GA and HubSpot allow you to track your conversion rates. Google Analytics, again, allows you to dig deeper into data and literally track your every visitor interaction during a single session.
Travis McGinnis at Vye also gives us a look at some similarities, explaining, “Google Analytics is best at in-depth tracking and analysis of website visitors, whereas HubSpot is best at tracking how individual contacts interacted with a website.
They both collect much of the same data, but HubSpot is best for analyzing contacts and customers whereas Google Analytics is best for in-depth and detailed analysis of website pages. Google Analytics collects more data than HubSpot does and can easily compare timeframes for before/after analysis.
Regardless, each company should have a single source of truth for all data. For us, we use HubSpot because it can track everything we need. We use Google Analytics to dive into complex audits because the tool is better suited for that type of analysis than HubSpot.”
When considering these two resources, it’s also a good idea to have a clear understanding of how they differ.
Starting things off with how they’re different is Abby Hau at Wellpcb PTY LT. Hau explains, “HubSpot is straightforward to understand and easily navigational. It doesn’t matter you are a new user or already using HubSpot. Its user-friendly interface and tailored dashboards, in-depth reports give you more understandable business reporting data, and you can refer to it as an ‘all in one’ tool.
On the other hand, Google Analytics is complex, takes time to understand (specifically its dashboards and filters), and a free tool that only focuses on the website. If you have a website, it will be a great asset for you to understand your online website’s behavior from start to end.”
Weldon Dial explains the differences between the two by being straight-forward regarding their different strengths. Dial states, “HubSpot’s biggest strength, in my opinion, is that it allows me to see the direct impact on pipeline and revenue. I can easily check leads and my conversion funnel’s performance. Google Analytics’ biggest strength is that it goes more in-depth when it comes to traffic reporting. You can quickly take a look at what types of devices your visitors are using on Google Analytics. Plus, you can track new or returning visits.”
Ethan Bayliss is also back to share how the two are different. Bayliss continues, “Both Google Analytics and HubSpot have been great tools when it comes to tracking my personal business performance. However, they both have some clear unique strengths.
Google Analytics has allowed me to specifically track how the usage of mobile users is impacting my business in an ever-increasing digital age. This is great as it has allowed me to make some minor adjustments to my websites user interface to adapt to the growing mobile traffic.
A unique strength of HubSpot is that thanks to the HubSpot COS, me and my team can easily keep our portfolio of websites up to date with Google Search Engine Optimization best practices with just a few clicks.”
Melanie Musson at ArlingtonCoverage.com knows that the main differences between the two boil down to the data you’re looking to analyze, sharing, “Google Analytics is great for information regarding visitor engagement with our website, while HubSpot is better for marketing reports with specific data.”
Agreeing is Boris Palacios of Gray Group Intl. Palacios shares, “Google Analytics gives you a clearer picture of your website as a whole. You can get an overview of your site for a specific period of time or for specific groups of people. But it’s harder to see the direct impact on the pipeline and revenue. On the other hand, HubSpot is easy to analyze the customer’s actions over time but It’s harder to track how visitors interact with your site on a large scale.”
Another key difference between the two is the overall view of the data which you’ll receive. Going further is Nick Leffler at WPHubSite, stating, “Google Analytics is a great tool to see general website traffic and see a broader view of how users are using your website. HubSpot is much better at seeing the details for individual users and their path to conversion on your website. HubSpot will tell you who filled out what and the path that led them there. It’s a great tool for figuring out how leads convert rather than broader traffic trends on your website which Google Analytics does well.”
Jenna Levandowski at Figmints also explains some key differences, sharing “Google Analytics excels at pulling deep insights over various sets of audiences. For example, you can see overall trends of users from social versus organic search. Where HubSpot really shines is in seeing analytics on the individual level. This allows for some deep personalization based on what types of content users are interacting with.”
Wrapping up the differences is Jack Landess ay Acadian Windows and Siding. Landess explains, “Google Analytics is unique in its conversion-tracking abilities. Through Google Analytics, we can accurately track consumer interactions with our brand throughout the sales funnel. Additionally, establishing specific conversion goals in Google Analytics allows us to create various actionable measures of success.
HubSpot is a more visual-friendly platform, and we use it to gather masses of information quickly for communication goals like traffic, bounce rate, and session duration. Our team also uses HubSpot’s charts and figures when creating detailed reports.”
If you truly want the most comprehensive and detailed look at your data, you may want to consider the many advantages of incorporating both tools for 360-degree reporting.
A fan of using both is Brita Hammer at Emergent Software. Hammer explains, “We use both tools to compare the same metrics we track on each. For example, Google Analytics can show us how many form fills came from a specific source, but doesn’t dive any deeper than that. I then can take that information and move over to HubSpot to filter down to exactly which contacts were being generated from a specific source, and then see how the lead progresses through our pipeline. Google Analytics is a great tool for collecting a lot of accurate and general data about your site. HubSpot can help you dive deeper and see exactly how your marketing activity is influencing sales.”
Also understanding the advantages of both is Shawn Persons from Hello Marketing Agency. Person shares, “HubSpot is my primary tool for tracking business performance. Since all campaigns, emails, social, contact information, website engagement, etc., is there, it remains my go-to tool. However, there are times when a deeper dive is needed, and where Google Analytics is very helpful. For me, Google Analytics is a supplement to the information HubSpot provides.”
Taking advantage of what both of these tools can bring to the table is Bruce Hogan from SoftwarePundit. Hogan explains how they use both by sharing, “Google Analytics is the best tool for tracking website activity and performance for a single session. HubSpot is a far better solution for tracking user behavior across several sessions. As a result, we rely on Google Analytics for metrics like website visits, content downloads, and conversions. We rely on HubSpot for pipeline metrics such as lead to conversion ratio and number of open deals.”
Another fan of utilizing both is TJ Kelly at Cadenzify, who shares a complete understanding of why you should be using both reporting tools as you analyze data. Kelly shares, “Google Analytics is still the standard for measuring the behavior of users once they reach your website. HubSpot’s metrics tools are not as well developed. However, HubSpot has much better visibility into the actions of your leads and contacts before they reach your website, and actions they take outside the scope of the website (calls, emails, messaging, social engagement, etc).
In this way, HubSpot serves as our primary tool for understanding our users and their behavior patterns. Data from Google Analytics plays a significant role in completing that understanding.
Lastly, Google Analytics offers numbers from everyone who visits your website. HubSpot’s website metrics do too, but the real power of HubSpot is in tying behavior to a known prospect. Since most users on our website are unknown, if we relied only on HubSpot’s data, we’d be missing a large portion of insights. Anonymous though they are, the metrics provided by Google Analytics are much more complete and therefore allow us to extrapolate from more accurate data. In this way, Google Analytics lets us forecast where our HubSpot numbers will go, which is really powerful.”
Still not convinced that there are advantages to using both? Irene Lopez at Online Optimism highly recommends doing so. Lopez explains, “Google Analytics is a great tool to measure traffic, acquisition, time on page, and a number of other metrics. I use Google Analytics to provide me with quantitative information which helps me to make more informed decisions about improving user experience. If I see a page with a high bounce rate and a low time spent on a page, I can deduce that there is likely something wrong with the page and dig a little deeper.
HubSpot provides me with more qualitative information. Whenever someone fills out a form, I can begin to understand what their needs are. HubSpot can also tell me the pages they visited on our website which provides us with even more information about what that user might be interested in.
Combined both Google Analytics and HubSpot can provide you with a holistic view of how potential leads behave on your website as well as their interests.”
Agreeing that the two are stronger together is Elizabeth Weatherby at TOD Pros. Weatherby explains, “Google Analytics gives so many great layers and levels to understanding your audience, your behavior, where they came from, and exactly where on your site users are falling off in conversions. With the click paths and views from source/mediums, you can see where users are coming from, where they’re going on your site, and whether or not they’re converting. HubSpot is great because it gives us some good insight into other marketing efforts like email and form submissions.”
If you’re interested in using both HubSpot and Google Analytics but are unsure how to connect both to your website, the answer is simple — utilize Databox.
With Databox, it only takes a few clicks to connect a data source, which will make it possible for Databox to start making regular data syncs to keep your Databox reports up-to-date.
Check out the many different integrations that Databox makes possible:
Whether you decide to use HubSpot, Google Analytics, or both to track various website KPIs, having this data front and center will give your business a deep dive into insights you never thought were possible. When you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and get started, make sure to take Databox along for the ride to streamline every chart, graph, and table.
Reporting | Sep 24
Reporting | Sep 23